We all know that coffee can serve as the fuel for creative impulses (I don't know a single writer or artist who doesn't drink boatloads of the stuff), but can coffee itself be the medium for creativity? The answer is yes — as long as you're counting the disposable cups. Rob Draper, a London-area freelance designer, artist, and illustrator, is making waves with the bold and gorgeous artwork he creates on empty Starbucks cups.
Draper's pieces, which are hand-drawn and strongly influenced by typography, feature a striking, black-and-white style. The project, entitled "Coffee Time," depicts phrases like "always cry over spilt coffee," "A is for americano," "E is for espresso," and "a storm in a coffee cup." Some of the lettering is blocky and angular. Other font styles are looser, with fanciful curlicues and intricate detail.
Much like his fellow coffee-cup artist Gabriel Nkweti Lafitte, Draper puts the spotlight on everyday objects that would otherwise be used and discarded. Cup-doodling is a trend that seems to have garnered a lot of traction recently — after all, Starbucks itself just recently sponsored the #WhiteCupContest, which called for user-submitted photos of Starbucks cup art. Whether you're a Starbucks fan or not, I recommend checking out the dizzying variety of fantastic images.
Sadly, Draper's cups don't seem to be for sale. However, you can check out more images on Draper's own website, Tumblr, and Instagram. And if you're honing your own creative vision, be sure to tuck a felt-tip pen into your pocket the next time you hit up Starbucks. You never know when inspiration will strike.
And a bonus piece of art by Draper's seven-year-old son, Jack, in response to his dad's project:
Ah, Jack. You'll understand someday.